Feminism and Religion


Feminism and Religion

  • religion is an instrument of domination and oppression
  • religion is a product of patriarchy

Armstrong (1993)

none of the major religions are good to women, they are usually concerned with male affairs and women have a regulates and marginal position

  • women are exluded from key roles in many religions
  • women often participate more
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The Origins of Gender Inequality

women have not always been subordinate in religion

women were historically considered central to religion

there have been numerous symbols as naked and pregnant - fertility and life

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Simone de Beauvoir - Religion and the 2nd Sex

- religion acts to oppress women in the same way marxists argue capitalism does

- there must be  a religion for women as there is for the working class

- religion can be used by oppressors to oppress women

- men enjoy having 'god given' right

- religion is less an instrument of of constraint but rather of deception

- women are taught they are equal to men, even though they are clearly not

- women are taught to be relatively passive

- women are also vital as they do most of religious organisation  

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Nawal El Saadawi - The Hidden Face of Eve

- writes from the perspective of western, christian women

- discusses female oppression in the Arab world

- uses personal experience, under went female circumcision as a child

- oppression of women is not directly due to religion, simply due to patriarchy

- other religions are more oppressive than islam

- religion became oppressive due to the misinterpretation of its teachings

- women must fight for their own liberation

- women should focus on the positive aspects of religion and utlise these

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